Sunday, March 4, 2007

Careful Candor, Mr. Mitt

It's always those unguarded moments that catch a presidential candidate and show a bit of the true person behind the massaged, messaged candidate creation.

As a reporter, I always found the 10 minutes before an interview truly started and the period after the recorder went off to be much more enlightening than anything a candidate could ever tell me on the record. It surely showed up with George W. in 2000 when he talked with me with such excitement about baseball - a glee that never really showed when he was talking policy or even politics. I think that mild disinterest has manifested itself throughout his presidency, mostly in the worst ways.

Now it's showing just a bit with the Talented Mr. Romney. It surely was a parlor game in the State House press corps to try to get any little snipet of real Mittism. Reporters breathlessly retold the story of how the only daliance Romney allowed himself was the rare Vanilla Coke. In truth, Mitt's peeps told us it was regular Coke, not Vanilla.

But with all of them, particularly Mitt, you have to look for those rare moments where the guard is down in interviews, appearances and debates. It speaks volumes.

Check out this one with Real Clear Politics.

Mitt opened up about his dreams of all things after the recorder came on, waxing about his dreamed fear of You Tube.

"ROMNEY: You've got to be really careful about what you say and do anywhere you are. I actually had a dream about being in parking garage and having somebody in front of me taking too long to get their change and honking the horn and then yelling back, and getting out and yelling at each other and then seeing it on YouTube the next day. So I said 'OK', I've got to really be careful, you know, in my personal life."

Wow, Mitt's dreams. I never really want to go there. Never.

But this, to me, shows a certain vanity that is rare even in presidential candidates. How much has he drilled it into his own head to avoid missteps on the trail that the behavior modifications are even entering his private dreamworld? Man, that's deep. Sorry.

Anyway, it's revealing - if, even, for a moment. And the Mitt had better be careful. If he keeps doing things like that, we might just get a sense of the real person behind the candidate ... before he gets elected.

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